The Jezabels and Dan Sultan kick off Twilight at Taronga program for 2018

It has to be one of the best live venues in Australia – a stage in the heart of Taronga Zoo, best accessed by ferry, with a virtually unimpeded view of the harbour behind it. But it never hangs around for long. Thankfully, however, the 2018 Twilight at Taronga concert series returned on Friday night, kicking off a six week program with Perth rising star Stella Donnelly and local heroes The Jezabels. And then on Saturday night, Dan Sultan, accompanied by The Teskey Brothers, kept the good times flowing.

The Jezabels played through something of a greatest hits set during their appearance, teasing their earliest material alongside singles and fan favourites off of Prisoner, The Brink and their latest Sylvia. Highlights of the night included “Endless Summer”, “Pleasure Drive” and “Dark Storm” – which they dedicated to Lachlan Mitchell’s six year old daughter Rayna, who was born while they made their debut LP Prisoner (and in attendance tonight).

During “Look of Love”, keyboardist Heather Shannon faced technical difficulties that continued through the show – but true to the professional nature of the band, and Heather’s unequalled calm and stoicism, they pushed through. Though Hayley did tell the audience that they should “never make electronic music” in light of the difficulties. As required of any rock star, Hayley jumped on the guitar for a few songs, but admitted she preferred to “frolic” than to “pretend to be a real musician”. She also ended their early hit “Mace Spray” with a brief rendition of Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be”, telling the crowd “you’ve just got to acknowledge it when you realise you ripped off a chord progression!”.

Ending the main set with “Hurt Me” and returning with “Easy To Love” for the encore, Hayley and the band made sure to leave the audience with the event’s message and financial support of animal conservation, as we dimmed the lights and the music to let them sleep. And with hordes of families and young ones in attendance, the 9:30pm finish time seemed pretty appropriate for much of the audience. But along the way, they enjoyed a phenomenal set from one of Sydney’s best bands – technical difficulties regardless – accompanied by the finest view in town. Not a bad place – nor soundtrack – to watch the sun set.

The remaining program includes the likes of Paul Dempsey with Didirri, Rockwiz Live, two sold out shows with Neil and Liam Finn, Cloud Control with Julia Jacklin and much more! For all the details head HERE.

The reviewer attended the 2nd February 2018 performance at the Taronga Zoo. Photo by James Adams.